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of the region, the Judge and Arbiter of the condition of disembodied souls, to leave his epistles unopened, his royal overtures of grace unheeded! How pitiful, to be occupied to the last, to the very last gasp, with the things we are leaving behind, which can profit or injure us no more, and are fast fading into unreclaimed annihilation!

If death, like the time of removal to a new dwelling-place, or the day of embarkation for a foreign shore, were dated, and could by no means anticipate its fixed term, there might be reason for staving off the preparation for Judgment to a distant day, space being left for all needful arrangement; but coming, as it often doth, like a watch of the night, and like a thief in the night invading our slumbering, our defenceless homes, it is the height of folly and of rashness thus to live undefended and unprepared. I mistake, we are defended, but we are not prepared; yes, we are defended: that is, the physician and the surgeon pitch their tents hard by, and at the first onset of Death's forerunners they are called to our side to put in their defences against the king of terrors. They put their defences in, but what doth it avail? To mitigate racking pain, or by a sleepy dose to make the passage more tranquil; or, if God hath intended but a warning, not a summons, then they are his instruments to bring convalescence round. But to stay the dart of Death, when commission from on high hath been given him to strike, they pretend no more than they do to call the spirit back to the pale clay after they have been struck with his dart asunder. Ah! it grieves me to see men live so undefended and unprepared. For what availeth the preparation of a death-bed? Nothing, or next to nothing. Protestant priests have not, like Catholic priests, power given them to discharge a man's conscience with a word, or ceremonious masses, and send the stained soul, pure and spotless, to meet its Maker. This is only yielded to the successors of St. Peter. Oh, such villany; such villany they do play upon the dying man, and upon the living, thus, thus to cajole them out of life's busy healthy day with the delusion of the last moment's well-acted scene. Would you be so duped by any priest of them all? I know you would not. No, you would not allow yourselves to be another's dupe; but you care not to become your own. Your own hands will do for your souls the evil thing which you will not suffer another to do. You will do the fatal deed of self-murder. For I solemnly aver, that it is as much opposed to sober reason thus to postpone repentance to a sick bed's hope

less closing scene, and to trust salvation to a Protestant pastor's prayer in the latest hour of gathering darkness, as to give all over to the elevation of the holy chalice and the swallowing of the consecrated water.

Will you hear me one moment upon that which repentance is, and thence discover how inadequate thereto is a death-bed's disabled state. Repentance is not the resolution to amend, which resolution every one makes almost every time he suffereth for sin, and breaks as often. If this be the repentance that needeth not to be repented of, but will carry you clear through the Judgment in heaven, then you have made it fifty times, aye a thousand times, every time you had compunctious visitings of conscience, painful afterthoughts, or calamitous consequences of sin. This is not the repentance that either God or man doth care for. Repentance is that from which commenceth a change of life. It is the turning point of character and conduct, which reverses and afflictions, and sin's twanging consequences, may suggest, but never of themselves can bring about. The resolution is one thing, the power to carry into effect is another. I may resolve to be rich, but am I therefore rich? and will my bills upon the credit of that resolution pass upon the Exchange? I may resolve to be learned, but am I therefore learned? or will the Senate of the University grant me academic honours upon the credit of my resolution? I resolve to be good; am I therefore good, or will God pass me at the judgment-seat? How wise men take pleasure to deceive themselves for the sake of a little temporal indulgence!

The resolution is to be commended, but not to be trusted one time in a thousand. For man cannot effect a change upon the spur of resolution, which is the highest faculty of God alone. Yet the resolution is good, and ought to be encouraged. But if the resolution would succeed,, we must go to work and take the proper means for bringing the change about. We must slacken hold of that world which hath led us such a heavy rueful road; and take hold of something which may carry us into a better drift. The world, as nature looketh on it, is a deluder, a charmer; and will carry us deeper and deeper into its labyrinth. It filleth the soul brim full of false, ambitious, fallacious estimates, delusory wishes, dreams and phantasies of good and happiness. From her the natural man taketh in nothing but poison to his spiritual faculties, and alienation from his God. If therefore, a change is to ensue upon resolution, courses must be taken for evacuating from the heart these evil and delusory things

of which is the continent. For if the heart continue primed with its ancient charge, what alteration under heaven can there be of life?

Whence, then, is the heart to be charged with new and better contents? Not from the world. Whence then? from the word of God? This is the new world out of which the soul is to suck a new nature, and be conformed unto a new image. Here she will see things in new lights. Hence derive new apprehensions of God, new estimates of human things; heavenly ambitions and earthly contempts, sincere affections, true interests, solid comforts, stable principles, unflitting hopes, and abiding joys. These new tenants of the heart, as they enter through the knowledge and belief of the word of God, will expel the old ones, and a change of life will grow apace; for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, and whatever else defiles the life of man; and, till the heart be discharged and cleansed of its foul and adulterous load of nature's and the world's engendering, and possessed with another load engendered by the Word and Spirit of God, it is vain, very vain, to think that any refor mation or alteration of life will ensue.

How then, if these principles stand true, and that they do, all reason, revelation, and common experience of man do testify, how can any son of man commit the work of repentance to the desolate and soul-dissolving hour of death? What time then is there for the implantation of new principles-what strength for the ejecting of old ones-what room for experimenting upon the change-what solacement of assured hope to any clear-eyed spirit-what scope for the office of a pastor-what occupation for any soul? The communings between such a soul and a faithful pastor are the very shadow of weakness; the frailest, idlest, most unprofitable meeting which can take place on earth, a mere mockery of religion, and pregnant with most delusive effects. The pastor hath plenty of good things to bestow, but the dying man hath not a faculty of soul disengaged to take them up, nor hath he room wherein to stow them. He is dying, loaded, as he lived, with earthly cares. The pastor is a mere tool of ceremony by his bed-side; the most useless, the most helpless of all who minister to his wants, because, to speak the very truth, he hath no wants to which it is his province to minister.

But when it otherwise happeneth that the fear of God had made an early lodgment in the breast, and kept its place

against the temptations of this world and the impressions of nature within; that the hand of God hath been seen and gratefully acknowledged through the whole of life; that the weight of sins hath led the soul to the Cross of Christ, and unburthened it there; and that the worship of God hath been publicly pursued, and his favour privately besought, and his works, to the extent of our understanding and the ability of our mind, followed after; then, then the pastor's office to minister at his death-bed is an office full of meaning, and full of heart-felt gladness, to the spiritual patient most enlivening, and to all around most affecting. Such a death-bed hath no terror; and it is well nigh cheated of its grief, at least it hath a chastened grief. It is like the refining furnace to the gold, where the dross alone is left; the refreshing of spring when the creature casts its viler slough; or the apotheosis of an ancient hero, when his spirit riseth before his kindred from its earthly nook into the neighbourhood of God.

Ah, then, why do men dream! and why doat they upon this final repentance which is so impracticable! Why put they off the present thought of death, under the delusion of taking it up at a more convenient season! Do be intreated, for the sake of all that is dear to man in time and in eternity, to take the matter up at present. Send those thoughts, which roam sportive over gay fields of delusion; send those active, manly purposes, which now combat the hard and perilous conditions of human life; send those fond hopes, which dwell over the troublous future of the present life-hopes of a good which shineth faintly, and in the end defeat, like the ignis-fatuus, the pursuits of most; send those fears, which dwell over the troublous future of the present life-fears of loss, of poverty, of disgrace, of worldly defamation, or worldly despite; send them all, I do pray you, by heaven's glorious scenes, and hell's awful bereavements, send all those joyful thoughts and manly purposes, and fond hopes and gloomy fears, send them into the word of God, that they may partake there a proper, real, and everlasting nutriment, which may build up the edification of the soul, and secure for ever her well-being beyond the power of death and the grave, and sin, and the father of sin, to do her harm.

This 'procrastination, it is the thief of time;' this postponement of repentance, is the kidnapper of souls, and the recruiting-officer of hell. And I well do know what a troop of generous men he hath deluded; men who know the truth, and revere the truth, but postpone it under the incantation and magic

of this great enemy of heaven. Mine is an impotent position from which to assault an enemy that is possessed of your bosoms; but if I could arouse your better faculties, which his potations have laid asleep, and draw them to take a refreshing draught from the wine and milk of the gospel of Christ, then I glory to think how they would clear the inward temple of his sacrilegious intruder, and send him and his herd to the kennel, whence they issued to dupe the soul of man and bereave him of his noble enjoyment. Would you compose yourselves to thought; would you still the tumultuous host of passions and affections within, escape to a secret place from the din without, sit you down to think of life and death, and judgment and eternity, there would come up such still, small voices from the depths within, such stifled thoughts of God would awaken and present themselves at the court of conscience once more, strangled affections to Christ would breathe again through the living Spirit of our God, tender promises of Scripture would quicken long-departed hope; and the gospel of our Saviour would banish dissuading fears, and the heart would open its stony doors to God, as the flowers do their folded bosom to the beams of the sun. And oh! what new purposes would grow from the divine communion, and what new courses would be followed by the grace of our God! And what freshness, what health, what joyfulness, would enliven our diseased and sickened soul! The bridegroom hath blessed her with his love, and united himself to her for ever. Life, for the first time beginneth; and, like Christ, the father of it, it ariseth from a tombthe tomb of the old man crucified. Then the seed of the Word that liveth and abideth for ever is implanted; the fruits of the Spirit come forth from the bed of carnal nature, and the spiritual man standeth ready to be glorified by death. Such, be assured, my beloved brethren, will come to every one of you, if you will but shake off, in the strength of God, this nightmare of procrastination, which weigheth down your bosom, and will speedily consume your life.

Thus is one strength demolished, into which indolent nature retreateth, and where she liveth upon time, as the sloth does upon the tree, till every particle of the food is consumed, then droppeth, she knoweth not whither. There is another strength into which she casts herself when beaten. out of this, upon which I meditate no parley, no tedious operation, of argument, but a main attack, a storm, where it shall be fought hand to hand, without any reserve or any mercy upon either side. For they are desperados with

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